Reforms in the army scolded a lot, but one fact is beyond anyone’s doubt: Russia's military spending is growing rapidly.
In the coming years, the government will spend 20 trillion rubles on a grand rearmament of the army. Where and against whom the latest can be used Tanks, ships and planes?
"The hardest thing to answer is the question, the answer to which is obvious." The statement of the great Bernard Shaw does not lose its relevance today. Obviously, Russia is a great power and one of the poles of power and therefore must always be fully armed. But it’s one thing to talk about it abstractly and quite another to watch large-scale military preparations. Reforms in the army scolded a lot, but one fact is beyond anyone’s doubt: Russia's military spending is growing rapidly. Last year, they grew immediately by 9,3% in annual terms - up to $ 72 billion. Thus, we have already bypassed the UK and France in terms of expenditure on armaments, by the way, for the first time in the newest stories. And in terms of the growth rate of military spending, they overtook China and India, not to mention the USA. Even those not well-versed in economics, people noticed that amid the prevailing economic uncertainty, the huge state defense order for 20 trillion rubles to the 2020 year was not reduced. Here you will inevitably think: what will this huge money go for and why does Russia need so much of the newest weapons? Let's see.
The main guarantor of the national security of Russia traditionally remains the Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN). And in this area recently there have been several important events. First, plans for the creation of a new mine-based 100-ton intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with promising means to overcome the enemy’s missile defense (ABM) were launched. This crucial decision shows that the command has changed its mind to abandon heavy ICBMs. A promising rocket should replace the Soviet UR-100H UTTH “Stilet” complex, the service life of which was extended until the completion of work on a new product. Apparently, the military came to the conclusion that, under the prevailing conditions, an ICBM of this class is too important and an effective deterrent to abandon them.
Secondly, in December 2011 of the year and this year, the military department represented by the commander of the Strategic Missile Forces, Sergei Karakaev, and the spokesman of the press service of the Ministry of Defense for the Strategic Missile Forces, Vadim Koval, repeatedly stated the possibility of continuing research on the design of a combat railway missile system (BZhRK) generations. Recall that standing in service with the RVSN of the Soviet Union BZhRK with a rocket "Scalpel" was one of the main trump cards of the USSR in the confrontation with the United States. They could not be detected by means of space reconnaissance and ensured the possibility of a retaliatory strike against the United States in the event of a nuclear conflict. Hints at the possible creation of a promising BZHRK, most likely, a signal to American partners, stubbornly bending their line in building a missile defense system in Europe.
But rearmament will cover not only the Strategic Missile Forces. Today we are witnessing the beginning of the revival of the Russian Navy fleet (Navy). In the state defense order, 4,5 trillion rubles have been allocated for its update! More than 40 surface ships and submarines have already been laid and are being built at the shipyards. But if you get acquainted in more detail with the composition of the armament of these new combat units, then involuntarily the question arises of the concept of using the fleet in the near future. Thus, the latest frigates of the Admiral Gorshkov type and the small missile ships of the Buyan-M type being built for the Black Sea Fleet and the Caspian Flotilla have identical missile weapons. We are talking about the Caliber missile system with a range of ground targets of more than 2 thousand km, which is several times greater than the range of Soviet systems that are in service with the Navy. In essence, this means a transition from tactical and operational tactical weapons to strategic ones, and the command intends to equip even small displacement ships with such means. A reasonable question arises: why? Theoretically, the capabilities of such long-range weapons allow, say, even the Persian Gulf region to be controlled from the waters of the Black and Caspian Seas. Obviously, the military presence in the Mediterranean basin continues to play a crucial role in the plans of the Ministry of Defense. At the same time, the Navy leadership made a strong-willed decision to replace the obsolete ships of the Black Sea Fleet in a short time, but the frigates of the Admiral Gorshkov type, the construction of which was carried out with a scratch, and the more simple and used frigates of Project 11356M, were not already mentioned. Three of these ships have already been laid down and should be part of the fleet over the next two years.
A separate line is a series of six diesel submarines built specifically for the Black Sea Fleet. Such a serious replenishment of the combat strength of the submarine forces will expand, first of all, the anti-submarine capabilities of the group, because now Turkey on the Black Sea has entire 14 submarines against one of Russia.
In addition to the large-scale construction of new ships, there are plans for the return to service of Soviet ships that have been suspended for a long time. First of all, it concerns the Admiral Nakhimov nuclear-powered missile cruiser and several nuclear submarines with the Antey 949 cruise missiles (analogs of the deceased Kursk), which are currently in long-term repair or conservation. At the end of last year, the agency RIA "News", Referring to a source in the military-industrial complex (DIC), reported that" Antey "will be upgraded and will receive the latest strike weapons, including, apparently, and the Caliber and Onyx missile systems. And on the "Nakhimov" should pay special attention: the cruisers of this project and today are considered the most powerful strike warships in the world, and one can only guess what opportunities this ship will have after upgrading. These combat units will strengthen, first of all, the Northern Fleet - the struggle for the Arctic is coming, and it will not be easy.
Let us now turn to aviation. An analysis of the concluded and planned contracts for the front-line, primarily fighter, aviation allows us to make an assumption about the desire of the command to update the fleet in key areas as soon as possible. In addition to orders for promising T-50 aircraft (PAK FA) and Su-35S, the Ministry of Defense signed a contract for the supply of Su-30SM (the Russian version of the MKI), and is also actively negotiating with RSK MiG on the purchase of light MiG-35s. Even considering that the fifth-generation fighter still has several years of testing, it would be logical to still opt for the Su-35S, throwing all its forces into the production of this model. But it takes time to organize large-scale production, and aircraft are needed today. In late September, some media outlets announced the Ministry of Defense’s plans to deploy a group of MiG-2013 interceptors on Novaya Zemlya Island by the end of 31. This most important decision would make it possible to increase the combat stability of the Northern Fleet, which is actually deprived of fighter cover at the moment. It is known that in the 1980s, the 63rd Guards Air Regiment based on Su-27 fighters was based at the Rogachevo airport. However, in 1993 he was withdrawn to the mainland and disbanded. So the upcoming relocation should at least partially close the dangerous gap in the missile defense system of the area. Rogachevo has already replaced the runway cover and lighting equipment, and pilots of one of the units on the Su-27 this year made several missions to Novaya Zemlya. 20 years later, everything is back to square one.
If we are talking about the Arctic, it is worth noting the frequent flights of our strategic missile carriers Tu-95MS and Tu-160. Patrolling in the northern regions is no longer a rarity. The increased activity of the air component of the strategic nuclear forces (SNF) of Russia is accompanied by the reconstruction of the airfield network so that they can receive strategic bombers. The goal here is obvious: to get as many bands as possible to disperse in the event of a conflict.
No serious military conflict today can not do without the use of tanks. Russia has the largest tank fleet in the world, which, of course, requires renewal and replacement. And a few months ago, it became known that defense companies that repair armored vehicles received a large order from the military department for deep modernization of tanks already in service, in particular T-72. As a result, these combat vehicles will practically not be inferior to the most modern at the moment tank of the Russian army - T-90. True, a completely logical question arises: why spend large sums of money on upgrading outdated samples if a new technique is in development? Recall that the creation of a new promising tank was chosen as one of the key areas of development of the Land Forces of the Russian Federation. According to the defense industry, work on the Armat project is in full swing, and prototypes promise to be presented almost in 2014 year. Building a tank fist looks very impressive, if we recall that almost half of the NATO countries have already refused or intend to abandon heavy armored vehicles. And these are not only small states like the Netherlands, but also the main members of the alliance - the United Kingdom and Germany. If everything is more or less clear with ballistic missiles — this is a means of deterring the United States and its allies — then where might such powerful tank groups be needed?
According to the country's leadership, the number of external threats to the Russian Federation is growing. And today we can single out a number of potentially dangerous conflict zones. The main source of concern at the moment remains the prospect of deploying a US missile defense system in Eastern Europe. Moscow still believes that it is directed exclusively against Russia. The absence of any progress in negotiations with the United States on missile defense has already forced the General Staff to take a number of military-technical response measures, in particular, to put on alert several radars of early warning. However, in addition to this, the leaders of the country announced much tougher decisions that could be taken if there was a real threat to the Russian strategic nuclear forces. In November last year, President Dmitry Medvedev said: “The Russian Federation can deploy modern attack weapons systems in the west and in the south of the country, ensuring a fire attack on the European missile defense system. One of these steps will be the deployment of the Iskander missile system in the Kaliningrad special area ... ”
However, not all experts agree with this question. One of the leading Russian military experts Ruslan Pukhov said in an interview with our newspaper: “The subject of missile defense is a contrived thing. By the way, as well as the problems of NATO expansion to the East. I consider these threats as deferred - they are being updated in the future. By that time, Russia will either really strengthen and be able to fend off these threats, or a new 1917, well, or 1991 year awaits us, and then nothing will be terrible for us. ”
Experts are much more worried about possible local conflicts in the post-Soviet space and in neighboring countries south of the former borders of the USSR. The situation around Libya, Iran and Syria has shown that a militarily weak Russia cannot be an equal partner of the West in resolving regional conflicts. And this is clearly annoying the Russian leadership. In addition, Moscow is worried about Turkey’s gain, especially in connection with the war in Syria.
But not even the Middle East is the main risk zone for Russia. Potential threats may lie in wait for us much closer - in the South Caucasus and in Central Asia. Georgia, despite the political changes that occurred there, still cannot be considered a friendly country, it will hardly accept the loss of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. In addition, the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan continues in the Transcaucasus. Baku’s defense spending is constantly growing (in 2013, it will be about $ 2 billion, or 13% of budget expenditures), and since the financial capabilities of Azerbaijan and Armenia are incomparable, then sooner or later the balance in this region can be disturbed. Moreover, Azerbaijan, apparently, no longer believes that Moscow will help it to return the territories occupied by Armenia, and slowly changes its foreign policy course, directing its gaze towards the West. The first alarm bell rang in June this year, when the Azerbaijani side put forward to Russia the obviously unacceptable conditions for extending the lease of the Gabala radar station. And although the problem was resolved, an unpleasant aftertaste remained.
Serious conflict may also occur in Transnistria. In October, the Russian Foreign Ministry in the person of ambassador-at-large Dmitry Gubarev declared its readiness to recognize Tiraspol in the event that Moldova loses its independence and becomes part of Romania. Maybe not tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, but such a development of events seems quite real.
But the main potential danger comes, apparently, from Central Asia. “The nearest war will be in one form or another in Central Asia,” says Ruslan Pukhov. “Most likely, after the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.” It is also impossible to exclude any variant of the “Central Asian spring” - regime change and destabilization of the situation in the region.
Summing up, we can say: a large-scale rearmament of the Russian army shows that Russia is actively trying to regain the status of a great military power and is ready to allocate huge funds for this. In this case, one can quite clearly distinguish two development vectors. The first vector is strategic, and it still implies an implicit confrontation with the United States, which, however, does not at all mean the inevitable military conflict between countries. Rather, it is the desire of the Russian elite to restore the former military parity with the Americans, albeit not on a Soviet scale, but nonetheless ...
The second vector is preparation for possible local wars and, accordingly, capacity building of conventional non-conventional weapons. The probability of "small wars" definitely cannot be ruled out - the events of August 2008 of the year in South Ossetia were a clear confirmation of this. Now Russia clearly wants to be able to speak with its closest neighbors from a position of strength - for example, with the same former Soviet republics or Turkey. And in the future, it may consider it necessary to intervene in conflicts that are not so far from Russian borders. So the catch phrase of the Roman historian Cornelius Nepos - “If you want peace - prepare for war” - is still relevant today.
And in relation to Russia - especially.